CyberPeace Institute launches report on cyberattacks on Healthcare systems
May 11, 2021
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by Snigdh Baunthiyal

The CyberPeace Institute, a non-profit international organisation headquartered in Geneva has launched its first strategic analysis report ‘Playing with Lives: Cyberattacks on Healthcare are Attacks on People’. The report has urged governments do more to prevent healthcare systems from being attacked by criminals and hostile states.

CyberPeace Institute’s President Marietje Schaake said in a statement, ‘The unacceptable reality is that too many states and criminals get away with using cyberattacks for their cynical agendas. That hospitals and vaccine labs are attacked amidst a pandemic hurts people directly. It is essential that prevention and accountability are rolled out more effectively’

Healthcare systems across the world are targeted by cyberattacks and disinformation. This has led to resources being crippled, patient safety is compromised and sensitive data is exposed. The institute has highlighted that governments and private institutions need to contribute towards making healthcare systems more secure.

Report’s key findings

The key findings from the report include recommendations such as emphasising on governments to enforce national and international norms, commit to doing no harm and declare cyberespionage and intelligence-gathering against healthcare unlawful. 

The report has also put out a warning that healthcare professionals and patients don’t benefit from the existing legal framework and initiatives designed to protect them.

However, the report says there is still hope. The institute advises that collective action can help protect the system and this is possible with investment. Routine stress tests to assess weaknesses in IT ecosystems can help inform future procurement processes for upgrading or securing existing technologies.

Current plans

The institute has announced a partnership with Cylera a leading healthcare cybersecurity and threat intelligence company. 

Stéphane Duguin, Chief Executive Officer of the CyberPeace Institute said, ‘We welcome Cylera to this innovative cybersecurity initiative with the goal to protect healthcare organizations. Securing healthcare IoT devices is crucial for care continuity during this pandemic’

This partnership will focus on the institute’s Cyber 4 Healthcare Initiative which will focus on providing Cylera’s MedCommand Healthcare IoT Platform to smaller, disadvantaged hospitals.

 Timur Ozekcin, Co-founder & CEO of Cylera said, ‘COVID-19 has proven the importance of taking a global approach to securing healthcare infrastructure, as hospitals around the world are not only grappling with patient care, but how to prevent ransomware and other attacks that can impair hospitals for days or weeks. With a clear view of international cybersecurity resource disparities at play, Cylera is stepping up to the global stage through this partnership to offer healthcare IoT asset management, risk analysis and threat detection.’

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